The official Transmission of the Klingon Imperial Weapons Guild.
I welcome all of you who appreciate the seductive curves and radiant warmth of steel fashioned into the perfect Klingon blade - the betleH vaQqu' !! Whether you are fortunate enough to create your own custom weapons, aspire to learn the art or just want to associate with blade-smiths, *The Guild* is here to serve you and the Empire.
K'Daq son of Toragh
This issue of "mupwI'" marks a new era in the Guild - especially concerning the presentation of Klingon weaponry and knife related topics. Sometimes adversity can be a blessing..... or in a more Klingon *light* ...... a warrior can always find a weapon. My illness has made it necessary to open a new main web site and new *satellite* sites. This has increased the efficiency of the Guild leadership and given us the ability to get this info out to you (the membership) in a more reliable fashion. It has also led to a more streamlined "mupwI'". The new "mupwI'" will concentrate on instructional and informational articles as well as feature the designs and projects of the membership. Although the *Family History* and *Letters to the Editor* sections will be gone, we have not discarded them as important, in fact, we now have a better method of handling both subjects. The Family History Section will open as a permanent section of the Main Web Site and the Letters to the Editor will be handled at the new Delphi : KIWG Forum page. When you have technical questions of any type, or are just curious about one thing or another, post it at the KIWG Forum site. In this way the entire membership is able to respond with their knowledge and the question and answer become available to the entire membership at that moment instead of once every month. There will be more changes in the next few months as we work *bugs* out of the new arrangements and I look forward to any and all help in making your Guild a source of Klingon Pride.
By the Way.....if you are wondering who the leadership is.....well its YOU. We are Klingon and WE are the Guild.
This month we *kick-off* the new "mupwI'" with a great article on heat treating steel by K'Beck and we revisit the Warrior's Friend - the d'k tahg - this time with technical drawings. We also have several pictures in the new Member's Gallery. Take a look at what is bouncing around in your Klingon friend's heads. ENJOY!
mupwI' yI'uchtaH !
Tempering: by K'Beck
I hope to present this as a reference, there are a lot of myths and misinformation about what tempered steel really is. Hopefully I can present this in simple terms. I still don't understand all the technical terms, there are some out there that can explain exactly what happens to steel when its heat treated, all I care about are the results.
Basically there are three stages of hardness that can be obtained:
Annealed -This is when steel is at its softest. Most steel you buy is annealed when you get it from the manufacturer. If you get steel from other than a foundry or retailer, it has probably already been heat treated in some manner, this may be a good thing or a bad thing, I'll explain later.
Hardened - This is when steel is at its hardest, you will almost never find steel left in this state very long. When steel is hardened basically you are realigning the carbon molecules in the steel itself, when steel is at its hardest it is very brittle. The very first sword I made, I wanted it hard. I was tired of all those factory blades that kept denting, and wouldn't hold an edge well enough to suit me. I left the blade at its hardest. So here I am hand polishing a three foot blade I got up from where I was sitting, the blade slipped out of my hands, hit the carpeted floor and shattered into seven pieces!
Tempered - This is hardened steel that has been sent back into the fire and is brought to a very specific temperature for a very specific amount of time. No I am not trying to hide trade secrets, things get a little complicated at this point. Different types of steel temper to different hardness at different temperatures. For example; O-1 tool steel at full hardness is RC 66 then at a 475^ draw at one hour it is RC 60. 440 stainless at full hardness is RC 60 then at a 450^ draw it is about RC 55. Now 440 stainless at RC55 is too soft to hold an edge, and yet O-1 at RC 60 is still too brittle for a large knife. I like to run 440 stainless to around RC57 - RC59 ( that's about as hard as a Buck Brand knife) I make swords out of 1095 spring steel and draw them out to RC56 - RC58.
Okay so far? Now axes need to be softer than swords, they are heavier and give/take more impact. If you are using a crow bar it is tempered even softer. Where am I going with this? If you get steel at a recycling center of some sort, it is probably not annealed, nor is it likely to be fully hardened. The best thing to do is bring a new small file with you. Most files are around RC67 and will cut steel that is up to RC56 - RC 58 or so. Now if the file slides across without biting you have a very hard piece indeed! Practice sharpening a machete, it is softer than a sword; then sharpen an axe, then sharpen a lawn mower blade , you'll start getting a feel for different hardness. If you can get away with it try the file on a kitchen knife, and then a hunting knife.
The kitchen knife is softer, why? - because it needs to be easier to sharpen. Acids in vegetables, and the graininess of some plants are very hard on an edge, so they make kitchen knives easier to sharpen. Basically they're playing hardness vs ease of sharpening and trying to find the best of both worlds.
My point is different tools/weapons need different hardness. A d'k tahg needs to be harder than an axe, a meq'leth should be harder that a bat'leH. If you want truly usable, authentic weapons, edge hardness is a must. If you want display pieces then hardness is less of a concern. If you are trying to find a large piece of steel for that bat'leH then take a file with you, that way you can find a piece that you can still work and may already have enough hardness to make it "real".
If you want a great looking display pieces use titanium. It won't hold an edge worth poop, but it is strong enough that it won't bend like annealed steel .
If you want something hardened and tempered contact :
Texas Knifemaker Supply
10649 Haddington #180
Houston, Texas 77043
phone # (713)461-8632
or visit the web page at http://www.siteblazer.net/texasknife/.
They can heat treat pieces up to 20 inches in length for under $10.00 a blade. They do have restrictions on what type of steels they can harden, they can even do a new cryogenic treatment that is supposed to add a lot of strength to steel. T.K.S. has one of the best reputations out there for friendly support and technical knowledge. I can harden larger pieces, but I am still learning and I have ruined more than one piece of steel in my forge! Since I started my new job I haven't had time to do very much in my own shop at all.
I hope this has been informative and didn't put too many of you asleep. If you found any of this fascinating I can go on about differential tempering, and the difference between pattern welded (modern Damascus) and Wootz (old world Damascus) steels, but I think those would be two entirely different articles.
I know this wasn't a very Klingon article , but knowledge is universal, no?
The standard companion of the Klingon warrior which consists of a double edged primary blade and 2 secondary blades that form the guard.
I feel it is important to stress that the dimensions of the d'k tahg used in the series and movies are much larger than the currently commercial *Phoenix*. This is not to say that you can't own a Phoenix and enjoy yourself, but do not use it as a *benchmark* for comparing weapons displayed on the Guild pages. I take great care to verify the accuracy of each blade through the use of pictures and actual props from the shows.
Three versions of the knife have been documented in TNG, DS9 and the movies. Early versions where slightly smaller than the current models with elaborate mechanical stylings overlaying the guards. The guards were also fully retractable and locked into open position with a button and spring mechanism. Later the Next Generation models simplified the area covering the guards (which remained fully functional) and the primary blade was slightly larger in size. The most recent versions remain the same in all respects to the TNG model except the guards no longer function , but are permanently fixed in the open position.
My personal preference is for the middle version. I like the simpler more warrior like guard area - its much more functional and gives the appearance that it was made by a craftsman and not a production line like the original ones did...and lets face it, watching those secondary blades snap out will definitely get your attention !
An important consideration in the construction of the d'k tahg is the use of springs in the mechanism. Using springs to operate the blades could be considered a violation of any number of state and federal laws covering spring operated knives. On a trip to Canada in 1996 the only question customs put to me about my knife collection was if any of them had springs in their construction. So either be well versed on the laws covering the subject in your area or design a mechanical system to open the guard. The drawings included in this edition are of one using a spring free mechanism. This mechanism is roughly detailed in the drawings . A great deal of *manipulation* is required to *tune* the sliding parts. The length and width of each moving part are going to vary depending on where you locate the pivot points - so allow yourself some room to adjust. Finally the handle will need to be done in two parts that *encase* the mechanism and guards. You can fasten these halves temporarily with screws or pins while you shape them and then use the method of your choice to permanently attach the handle. I opted to screw the halves together so that I could gain access to the mechanism in case of a malfunction. The screws were hidden under the decorative *plating* on the handle. If needed the plates could be *popped* off and the handles removed for knife repair. Of course, if you elect to have your guard blades *fixed* in place you can pin them down and permanently attach your handle.
I used a thin stainless sheet on the inner surface of each of the handle's halves. This sheet provides a surface against which the sliding mechanism can operate and against which the secondary blades can rotate. These sheets can be attached to the handle or riveted to the blade with the pivot pins from the secondary blades. The slide is made from the same material that the blade is made from. It rests in the open channel of the primary blade and has a second part that attaches to the top of the slide so that it can rest on top of the blade surface and provide attachment points for the mechanism. When attaching the slide use two pins (one fore and one aft on the slide )- this keeps the force of the slide evenly dispersed and prevents rocking of the mechanism and jamming.. You can use screws here also and hide them under the decorative symbols for the warrior's house etc..
A list of dimensions follow and I have elected to post a large drawing file of the knife. This enabled me to be more precise in the detail and hopefully will help you in organizing your project. Print the drawings and enlarge them to the overall dimensions indicated and you will have a working set of plans. Qapla' !
d'k tahg Dimensions
Thickness of Primary Blade 00.25 inches Length of Primary Blade 09.00 inches Length of Blade plus Handle (full length) 16.50 inches Width of Blade (maximum) 03.25 inches Width of Primary Blade (minimum) 02.00 inches Length of Guard Blade (to pivot point) 04.50 inches Width of Guards 00.875 inches
d'k tahg technical drawing 1
d'k tahg technical drawing 2
Brian (tpauw) 1 - Brian has started a d'k tahg using only hand tools. This first picture shows the pattern cut out using a hacksaw, drill and files.
Brian (tpauw) 2 - In this picture Brian has finished the surface down and is now ready to choose a handle material.
K'toQ - yan : Classic compared to new design
The yan is my least favorite of all Klingon blades due to its many design flaws. K'toQ recognized these flaws and has come up with some creative alterations that yield a truly *Klingon* weapon.